Tag Archives: Milenge Milenge

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2010

2010’s worst Hindi movies are all bad, but one film is much, much worse than the rest. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Lahore, Dulha Mil Gaya and Pyaar Impossible make the list for ignoring some basic rules of plot development.

The most common problem among 2010’s worst movies is unlikable main characters. Tum Milo Toh Sahi and Veer also suffer from subtitling problems, while others — Action Replayy, Milenge Milenge, Teen Patti and No Problem — are little more than Hollywood knock-offs.

Kites gets an honorable mention for the conduct of its producers, including swiping a song from Lord of the Rings without crediting the original artist, and for not paying its supporting actors.

But the worst movie of the year — possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen — is Khatta Meetha. The characters in Khatta Meetha aren’t merely unlikable; they’re morally reprehensible. And Khatta Meetha is a comedy.

A comedy can’t work if its hero is almost as bad as the villain. Khatta Meetha‘s hero, Sachin (Akshay Kumar), punches his girlfriend out of anger and, years later, harasses her to the point that she attempts suicide. There’s nothing heroic about Sachin. He’s a scumbag and an abuser. Yet the filmmakers expect the audience to see him as the charming underdog.

In the worst sequence of the movie, the villain, Sanjay (Jaideep Ahlawat), conceives of a plan to get Sachin to confront him. How is this accomplished? Sanjay and his friends gang rape Sachin’s sister and kill her.

Let me emphasize this: she’s not just attacked. She’s raped. Gang raped. And murdered. In a slapstick comedy.

How can an audience laugh after witnessing something so awful? I sure couldn’t.

A more understandable way to incite Sachin to avenge his sister — without putting off the audience completely — would have been for her to show up with a black eye, courtesy of Sanjay — provoking Sachin to beat the tar out of the villain. But that wouldn’t work in Khatta Meetha, because Sachin himself had already punched a woman in the face. This forced the writers to concoct something so unspeakably awful that even Sachin himself cannot abide it.

Is that the low standard we’re forced to accept from our comedic heroes? That their goodness is defined by their unwillingness to commit gang rape and murder?

The only reason to see Khatta Meetha is if you plan on writing a comedy and want to know exactly what not to do. Sarcastic congratulations to the creators of Khatta Meetha for making not only the Worst Bollywood Movie of 2010, but the worst movie I’ve ever paid to watch.

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Movie Review: Milenge Milenge (2010)

1 Star (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Milenge Milenge (“We Will Meet, We Will Meet”) is a remake of the 2001 Hollywood romance Serendipity that is, at times, remarkably faithful to the original. Too bad the writers missed the point of the movie.

Kareena Kapoor stars as Priya, a college girl who abhors guys who drink, smoke, and lie. A tarot card reader — played by the great Kirron Kher, who acts like she’s embarrassed to be in the movie — informs Priya that she’s going to meet her soulmate on a foreign beach in seven days. The next day, Priya learns that she’s been selected to attend a youth conference in Bangkok.

At the same time, good-for-nothing fellow college student Immy (Shahid Kapoor) finagles his way onto the same trip. In Bangkok, he stumbles into Priya’s room while running from the cops and immediately falls in love with the sleeping beauty. He steals her diary and learns about the tarot card reader’s prediction. He makes sure he’s the one waiting for Priya on the beach on the seventh day.

Of course, pretending to be Priya’s fated soulmate means Immy must give up drinking and smoking. After he finally decides that being with Priya is worth abstaining, she discovers his scheme and calls the relationship off.

At this point, Milenge Milenge becomes a full-fledged Serendipity clone. The couple meet up in India when they both reach for the same item in a department store. Priya has Immy write his name and phone number on a 50 rupee note, and she writes hers inside of a book. Then she gives both the book and bill away. If Priya and Immy are destined to be together, she reasons, he’ll find the book with her name and she’ll find the note with his.

The original Hollywood movie began with two strangers meeting in a department store. They spend some time together and enjoy each other’s company, but both are already in committed relationships. They also do the bit with the book and the dollar bill, a cosmic test to see if they should ditch their partners and be together.

The whole reason that the fate angle worked in the original was that the lead couple had no history. The test of fate was based on the idea of what could be.

When Priya and Immy test fate, they already have a history, and it’s a bad one. Immy is a thief and a fraud, and Priya has good reason to dump him. If he wants to prove that he can change, he needs to be with Priya to do that.

If their test works and they are reunited by fate, it doesn’t prove that Immy is a better man. What if Priya was simply destined to be with a jerk?

In addition to the logical problem of Priya & Immy’s fated reunion, there’s also a practical one. In Serendipity, the male lead didn’t know the woman’s last name. In Milenge Milenge, Immy knows Priya’s last name, as well as where she went to college. Why not call the alumni office? Why not Google her? There’s no reason why he can’t find her.

The fact that neither Immy nor Priya thinks to consult the Internet makes the movie feel dated, as does virtually everything else about Milenge Milenge. The quality of the cinematography makes it look like a contemporary of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) rather than a movie made in 2004. (The movie’s been stuck in post-production hell for the past six years.) A cheesy soundtrack, wacky overacting, and a prudish sense of morality make Milenge Milenge seem even older than that.

Milenge Milenge languished on the shelf for six years. It probably should’ve stayed there permanently.

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Opening July 16: Lamhaa

One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area the weekend beginning July 16, 2010. Lamhaa stars Sanjay Dutt as a soldier in Kashmir and costars Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor and Anupam Kher. Lamhaa opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles.

Two Bollywood romantic comedies are also carrying over in area theaters. Milenge Milenge continues its run at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, while I Hate Luv Storys gets a third week at the South Barrington 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Other Indian movies showing around Chicago include the Telugu films Em Pillo Em Pillado, Sneha Geetham and Subhupradam, all at the Golf Glen 5.

Retro Review: Jab We Met (2007)

1.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

The recent release of Milenge Milenge prompted me to watch Jab We Met (“When We Met”), a 2007 romantic comedy. Both movies star Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor (no relation). Had I not committed myself to reviewing the movie, I would’ve turned off Jab We Met within the first 45 minutes.

The movie’s first act is a prolonged meet-cute between the two leads, Aditya (Shahid) and Geet (Kareena). Aditya, emotionally exhausted by legal battles over the rights to his deceased father’s wealthy corporation, wanders the streets in the kind of depression that only exists in movies. He stares at nothing, silently boarding buses and trains, with no idea where he’s going.

He’s a lot more mobile in his melancholia than most depressed people. If the movie was going for authenticity, Aditya would’ve left the boardroom, headed home, and crawled into bed.

On the train, Aditya is verbally assailed by a fellow passenger, Geet. To call her a chatterbox is insufficient; Geet won’t shut up. She jabbers in a manner that, like Aditya’s ambulatory despondency, only exists on film. She flits from topic to topic without pause, utterly self-absorbed and failing to notice Aditya’s blank stare out the window.

The clueless chatterbox is one of my most hated movie clichés, because she doesn’t exist in real life. At least not in such an extreme and irritating form. An ordinary person wouldn’t last a minute on the receiving end of such a soliloquy before faking a trip to the bathroom and finding an empty seat at the other end of the train, thus depriving the clueless chatterbox of her audience.

Writing deliberately annoying characters is tricky because — as with Geet — they often wind up annoying the audience as well as their fellow characters. An example of annoying-done-right can be found on the television show Glee. Supporting characters refer to the main character, Rachel, as annoying, but she rarely acts in a way that’s irritating to us viewers. We get that she annoys the other characters, without having to be annoyed ourselves.

Through a series of idiotic decisions, Geet gets herself stranded at a station, minus her wallet and luggage. She berates Aditya into helping her, then berates cab drivers and beverage vendors on the way to her parents’ house. Geet’s abuse of service workers further diminishes her attractiveness.

Thus ends the first 45 minutes of a 140-minute-long movie.

The rest of the movie is pleasant enough, as Aditya finally engages with his surroundings. There are colorful wedding decorations and Geet’s equally colorful family to liven things up. But, for the most part, the remainder of Jab We Met is just above average.

The big problem is Geet. Though Kareena Kapoor does a fine job acting the part, Geet is not a nice character. She starts out annoying and fails to develop throughout the film. She reacts but doesn’t grow, remaining clueless until the last few minutes of the movie. It’s hard to believe a decent, rich guy like Aditya couldn’t have found someone better.

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Opening July 7: Red Alert and Milenge Milenge

Two new Hindi movies debut in the Chicago area this weekend, though in a limited number of theaters. Red Alert: The War Within stars Sunil Shetty as a farmer driven by poverty to work for a militant communist organization. It opens at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles on Friday, July 7.

The second new release is Milenge Milenge, a romantic comedy starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor that’s been in production since 2004. It opens at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. Milenge Milenge has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

I Hate Luv Storys, which earned $535,273 in its first six days in U.S. theaters, gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Other box office figures from Independence Day weekend include a five-week total of $1,510,559 for Raajneeti and a three-week total of $705,504 for Raavan.

Other Indian movies showing near Chicago include the Rain Man remake Alexander The Great (Malayalam) and Bheemili Kabaddi Jatu (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5 and Raavanan (Tamil) and Vedam (Telugu) at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.